Iraqi army officer, 3 IS militants killed in north of Baghdad

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BAGHDAD, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- An Iraqi army officer and three militants of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group were killed on Monday in attacks in the province of Salahudin in the north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, security sources said.

A joint army and paramilitary Hashd Shaabi force carried out an operation in the morning to hunt down IS militants in the rugged area of Mteibijah in the eastern part of the province, Colonel Mohammed al-Bazi from the provincial police told Xinhua.

During the operation, IS militants opened fire on the force, leaving an officer killed and another wounded, in addition to wounding two members of the Hashd Shaabi forces, al-Bazi said.

Separately, an Iraqi army force raided an IS hideout in the al-Eith area east of Salahudin's provincial capital Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, a statement by the media office of Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) said.

The force clashed with IS militants, who were inside the hideout, leaving two soldiers wounded, the statement said, adding that a helicopter gunship bombed the hideout later and killed three militants inside.

Earlier in the day, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, also commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, announced the launch of a security operation to hunt down IS militants in the Tarmiyah area, some 30 km north of Baghdad.

The security situation in Iraq has been improving since Iraqi security forces defeated the IS militants in 2017. However, IS remnants have since melted into urban areas or deserts and rugged areas, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians. Enditem

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